Wednesday, May 12, 2004

General Anthony Zinni

I watched a lecture by General Anthony Zinni, presented by the Kroc Center for Peace and Justice. Zinni is a strong critic of the Bush Administration's approach to the Iraq war from the very inception.

At the end of speech, the General made some remarks that i found very strong. In response to a question regarding the political obligations of command staff, Zinni reminded people that the first question that one gets during one's confirmation hearing for head of service or combat command is whether you will return to the Congress when called and give honest opinions to the representatives of the people. If you don't answer yes, you might as well walk away. Senior command officers must be confirmed by 100 of 100 Senators. They must not be partisan.

Whenever a command officer faces an order from the civilian heads of service, the Secretary of Defense, or the President, he has only two options; "Yes, Sir," and laying down your stars and walking away. If he says "Yes, Sir," he must be honestly convinced that the orders are militarily sound. Zinni's last remark is that he would have long since laid down his stars rather than serve this Administration.


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